Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120
03/23/2018 08:45 AM STATE AFFAIRS
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|Approval of Introduction of Potential Committee Legislation|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE March 23, 2018 8:51 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair Representative Adam Wool Representative Chris Birch Representative Gary Knopp MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair Representative Chris Tuck Representative DeLena Johnson Representative Andy Josephson (alternate) Representative Chuck Kopp (alternate) COMMITTEE CALENDAR APPROVAL OF INTRODUCTION OF POTENTIAL COMMITTEE LEGISLATION SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 17 Proclaiming April 2018 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION No previous action to record WITNESS REGISTER BROOKE IVY, Staff Representative Jason Grenn Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Explained the origins of forthcoming House State Affairs Standing Committee legislation. ACTION NARRATIVE 8:51:16 AM CHAIR JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS called the House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting to order at 8:51 a.m. Representatives Wool, Birch, Knopp, and Kreiss-Tomkins were present at the call to order. APPROVAL OF INTRODUCTION OF POTENTIAL COMMITTEE LEGISLATION ^APPROVAL OF INTRODUCTION OF POTENTIAL COMMITTEE LEGISLATION 8:51:36 AM CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that the only order of business would be consideration of forthcoming legislation relating to the duties of the Alaska Public Offices Commission; clarifying the limits on making, accepting, and reporting certain cash campaign contributions; relating to campaign finance reporting by certain groups; relating to the identification of certain campaign communications; increasing the time the Alaska Public Offices Commission has to respond to a request for an advisory opinion; repealing a reporting requirement for certain contributions; relating to propositions and initiative proposals; and providing for an effective date. 8:51:56 AM BROOKE IVY, Staff, Representative Jason Grenn, Alaska State Legislature, informed the committee that on February 21, 2017, the Department of Administration (DOA) Finance Subcommittee adopted a department budget closeout report that included statutory change proposal recommendations; they were recommended via an amendment process previously held in the budget subcommittee. The first set of recommendations addressed streamlining Alaska Public Office Commission (APOC) reporting statutes; there were five areas in statute that were identified for streamlining efficiencies in APOC, given APOC's reduced staff over the years due to budget reductions. MS. IVY referred to a work draft of the forthcoming legislation [Version 30-LS1525\A, Bullard, 3/13/18], included in the committee packet. She cited Section 1 [page 2, lines 13-14, of the work draft], which would amend AS 15.13.030(7) to remove "all"; that would allow APOC some discretion for the duty of examining, investigating, and comparing reports, statement, and actions. MS. IVY referred to Sections 3 and 4 [page 3, lines 17-23, and page 4, line 2, of the work draft], which would amend AS 15.13.040(g) and (m) to extend the small campaign reporting exemption for filing reports for state candidates to "groups" that receive and expend less than $2,500. MS. IVY referred to Section 7 [page 4, line 27, through page 5, line 12, of the work draft], which would amend AS 15.13.090 to add subsection (g). The new language would clarify some "paid for by" identifiers as recommended by APOC. MS. IVY referred to Section 8 [page 5, line 14, of the work draft], which would amend AS 15.13.374(c) to extend the response time permitted for APOC for advisory opinion requests from seven days to ten working days. She added that APOC indicated that change would alleviate the staff workload. MS. IVY referred to Section 9 [page 5, line 18, of the work draft], which would repeal AS 15.13.040(k) - a statement of contributions reporting requirement. She expressed her understanding that currently all groups, individuals, and non- group entities must report any contributions of $500 or more to a group organized to influence a proposition; they must submit it 30 days after the recipients of the contributions are required to submit the same report; therefore, it is redundant reporting. The intent of the change is to reduce redundant reporting. MS. IVY explained that Sections 2, 5, and 6 of the work draft address issues outside of the scope of the budget recommendations. 8:55:50 AM CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS offered that Sections 2, 5, and 6 of the work draft incorporate a clarification proposed by Representative Dan Saddler in HB ; that is, a "year" refers to a calendar year. The sponsor of HB 349 concurred with the addition of these amendments to the forthcoming legislation. 8:56:39 AM REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH expressed his appreciation for the elimination of duplicative reporting to APOC. He offered an anecdote in which a person donating to a ballot issue was penalized for not reporting, because he/she was unaware of the requirement. He added that reporting online was difficult. He asked whether making the threshold for reporting lower - $5,000 to $2,500 - would increase the reporting requirements, rather than decrease it. He referred to page 3, lines 17-23, of the work draft. MS. IVY expressed her understanding that the $5,000 will remain for anyone who is a delegate to a constitutional convention, a judge seeking judicial retention, or a candidate for election to a municipal office. She clarified that the new language refers to "groups" as identified in statute and sets the threshold at $2,500. REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked what the threshold is currently for a group? MS. IVY responded that currently there is no threshold; they must report. REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH restated that instead of reducing the threshold amount to $2,500, the forthcoming legislation would exempt any donation under $2,500 from reporting requirements. MS. IVY answered, "That is correct." 8:58:45 AM REPRESENTATIVE WOOL suggested that the forthcoming legislation is more about efficiency than about money. He offered that it appears to be a regulatory change, but in fact must be done by statute. CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS confirmed that is true. He mentioned that the reason the request for statutory change came from the finance subcommittee is because APOC's budget has been cut, and APOC is looking to alleviate its statutory requirements. 8:59:23 AM REPRESENTATIVE WOOL moved that the committee authorize the chair to draft an act on behalf of the House State Affairs Standing Committee relating to the duties of the Alaska Public Offices Commission; clarifying the limits on making, accepting, and reporting certain cash campaign contributions; relating to campaign finance reporting by certain groups; relating to the identification of certain campaign communications; increasing the time the Alaska Public Offices Commission has to respond to a request for an advisory opinion; repealing a reporting requirement for certain contributions; relating to propositions and initiative proposals; and providing for an effective date. There being no objection, it was so ordered. 8:59:56 AM ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.